If you're looking for a family pet, you can't go wrong with a Golden Retriever. Goldens are one of the best dogs for families with children, and make great companion dogs for single people, too. The patience and temperament of a Golden Retriever is nearly unmatched by any other breed.
Golden Retrievers are great with children because they are so patient and tolerant. Though it's always critical to teach your children proper behavior with a pet, you can count on a Golden Retriever to be far more tolerant of the clumsiness and sometimes roughness of a toddler or young child than many other breeds.
Golden Retrievers are also great pets for families with children because they make great playmates. Goldens love to play fetch, chase, and even hide and seek. When a child and a Golden bond, they are a wonderful match, and will spend endless hours playing together in the yard. Golden Retrievers are gentle and smart enough to learn not to be too rough when returning a fetched ball or other item to a smaller child. You'll find that the two friends will quickly learn to play with each other in a way that is comfortable for both of them. When play time is over, you'll likely find your Golden Retriever and your child snuggled together on the floor in front of the television, taking a rest.
With some simple training, your Golden Retriever can learn many tricks to delight your children and guests in your home. Goldens love to perform and your child and dog will have lots of fun together learning tricks and showing them off to anyone who is willing to watch. This kind of activity is a great way to teach your child kindness to animals, patience and a sense of accomplishment.
Golden Retrievers are "people" dogs. In fact, the quickest way to get a Golden to misbehave is to keep him away from his owners. This is not a dog you can banish to the backyard. He'll love going out for a romp in the yard with you, but when you're inside, he wants to be inside too. Get a Golden Retriever if you want a dog that will truly become part of the family.
While Golden Retrievers are not known for being watchdogs, they are loyal and protective of their families, and will certainly alert you to a stranger's approach. They do consider your home and yard to be their territory, and they will watch it closely. They are not, however, likely to attack; though some have been known to show very protective instincts, particularly when they believe the children in their family are at risk.
All in all, you just can't find a better family dog than a Golden Retriever. They're smart, gentle, and sweet, and their only desire is to be the best friend of everyone in your family.